7 Gift Ideas for difficult people

With that most gift-giving of holidays up and coming, it becomes increasingly apparent that some people are easy to buy gifts for… and some are horrible, soul-sucking monsters for whom you can think of absolutely zero good gifts. They have no hobbies; they have no passions. They aren’t artists, they aren’t musicians, they don’t collect anything weird… what on earth are you supposed to buy these bizarre, boring Dilberts of the gifting world? Well, hopefully we can jump start your “difficult” list with these seven ideal gifts for difficult people.

Books—so many books

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Books are a pretty safe bet for any human being that has eyeballs and some down time. If they don’t have eyeballs but do have ears, you might consider audio book streaming services like Audible! There are a lot of great opportunities for stellar gifts in the category of books, from collector’s editions and unique bindings to series collections for people who actually like to read.

Essential oil diffusers, for stinky people

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Come on. Look—you don’t have to play coy with me. We’ve all got at least one friend whose home smells unpleasant. Or like an actual landfill, depending on how polite you’re feeling! Try a not-so-subtle recommendation for your stinky friends and pick up a few essential oil diffusers. There are also some New Agey suggestions that essential oils will make you feel good, or… you know, something like that—so, added benefit there! You can also consider, in their vein, incense or those weird clear jars with gel beads in them that you can pick up at basically any store. Scented candles are also a thing!

I don’t know, cookware or… something?

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Am I reaching with this one? Hey, everybody cooks, right? If your friend doesn’t cook and instead eats out for every meal, consider an intervention instead. But if, like a normal person, they do a lot of cooking, you could always pick them up a new set of pots and pans! Cast-iron skillets are always a must-have, as well as non-stick pans, pots, strainers, woks—whatever your heart desires, honestly. If your friends are lacking in the cutlery department, some high-quality prep knives or bundles of silverware will never go unappreciated!

Bedding! Sure, bedding!

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Maybe you’ve got, like, a new friend who changed apartments or bought a new house recently! Maybe your best buddy’s guest room is alarmingly Spartan. If so, bedding’s always a great choice! It’s reasonably affordable and really makes a statement—even if that statement is “I don’t like the way your bedroom looks, please fix it according to my tastes.” If you DO like their current bedding, you can always get them something like novelty throw pillows or themed blankets! If you have any dexterous skills, consider knitting something for your friends. They’ll eat that up.

Everybody loves a good novelty lamp

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Remember A Christmas Story? The gigantic fishnet stocking-clad lamp that Ralphie’s dad gets? People love that kinda stuff, right? Kitschy decor has kind of come back into fashion for some weird reason, so picking out your friend’s next major award could definitely win you some friendship points. Just make sure it’s not, y’know, fragilé.

Tools? Maybe?

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Do you know a handyman and/or handywoman? Are they doing their best to be handy, but just not succeeding due entirely to a lack of the proper equipment? Hey, tools are always a great gift for that super specific kind of friend who you probably don’t even have! Either way, even your non-handy pals will love you for picking out a $30 ratchet screwdriver set for them. The second they need to screw and/or unscrew an item in their home, they’ll reach for their trusty screwdriver and have you to thank for it!

Oh, what about one of those crate services

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One of the biggest fads of the 2010s has been crate services! Loot crates, swag crates, themed crates, crate crates. Seriously, there are a billion different crate delivery services out there, so if you know your friend is into some specific fandom or something, getting a crate full of neato swag for them is never hard. If they don’t have any particularly obvious hobbies, they do make super generic crates, like international food crates! Either way, a year-long subscription to one of these bad boys is literally the gift that keeps giving, and so you’ll be providing your best buddy a new gift every month ’til Christmas rolls around again. How’s that for a friendship booster?

Okay! There you have it! Seven gift ideas for difficult people. Hopefully you drummed up a great idea or two from that list so that you won’t have to leave anybody unaccounted for when it comes time to deliver gifts. Happy holidays!

Author: Billie Hauk

24-year-old Tennessee local yokel, part-time LGBTQ+ journalist and blogger.

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